Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Still sailing (or at least trying)

Believe it or not we've actually done a bit of sailing.

We've been to Oxford, Cambridge, and Herrington Harbor South (a very upscale marina and I could park the boat and live there forever!).

We've just left Solomons Islands after anchoring there for nearly a week. It's a nice place to visit (if you don't mind having to find a vet, and getting a visit from the police), and there are many stores, marina, shops, etc...

Yes folks our Wilbur the Wonder Pooch got sick and I'm very thankful that he didn't have mange (which is what one his horrible 'let's scrape Wilbur's lesions with a scalpel so we can see what he has tests' was leaning towards)!

He has a yeast infection and when Hans said he thought only women could get them I reminded him about the pink polka dot sissy vest he bought for Wilbur. The god in charge of yeast must have mistaken Wilbur for a female.

So far all is well and he is due for a $34.00/bottle shampoo on the deck this afternoon.

Our police visit took place after Hans went out in the dinghy to retrieve our grill cover that got blown off during a particularly nasty thunderstorm. A landowner thought Hans was dumping garbage when he saw him emptying the cover of a ton of water. We explained ourselves and were exonerated!

Through it all though is the unbelievable heat. Sweat just runs freely all day long and I've found that Wilbur loves to eat ice.

Cold compresses on a very itchy dog. This was the day before we got him to the vet.

Chlorox spread out in our cabin. She sleeps all day and prowls all night long.

Wilbur's itchies!!! This was after his visit to the vet and a bath on board the boat.

He has four different medications right now and loves getting them because I stick them in peanut butter!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fun at sea (??)

We finally got ourselves squared away, the radio (brand new) had blown a fuse but our electrician fixed it when he came back to see why the hell our port bilge pump power was on the fritz!

But in the meantime you may wonder what one does for entertainment while living aboard a boat.

I proudly admit to being a member of the TV Generation. I grew up with Leave it to Beaver, The Brady Bunch (I identified with Jan), my all time favorite The Andy Griffith Show, and later on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Carol Burnett, and of course Saturday Night Live.

For a fat teenager with thick glasses, frizzy hair, and acne, TV can be a great companion when all your friends have dates for the weekend.

Before we moved on board the first thing I did each morning, even though Hans thinks it's total fluff, was turn on The Today Show (I love Meredith Viera). "You call that news?" he would call out from the safety (especially if I hadn't had my coffee yet) of the kitchen.

We do have a TV on board but since but since it's an energy sucker and we're watching our batteries like maniacs, it rarely gets turned on. We have the paperbacks that we bought for fifty cents each at a library sale, board games, and now my favorite; binoculars.

I bought Has a set of Steiner's a couple of years ago never knowing they could be so entertaining. We've watched hawks sitting proudly atop masts as they stake out their next prey, gazed in awe at the ungainly yet graceful flight of herons, and peeked into Osprey nests hoping to catch sight of new babies. One day I watched a sailor march his dog to the bow of his boat where the pooch promptly did its business. I thought Hans should dinghy on over and ask how the hell he managed to train his dog so well but for some reason, Hans refused!

Then during our 'stranded at anchor' weekend I noticed a fellow boater was spending a lot of time rowing to and from his boat via his dinghy. Each time he left he had a full pouch at his feet and I was fascinated.

Me (feeling all Grace Kellyish in my own version of Rear Window): That guy's been going back and forth from his boat to land all day long. What's up with that?

Hans looking up from the Nigel Calder book that he should have read before this voyage: Huh?

I repeat my question.

Hans: He's probably getting supplies.

Me still peering through the binoculars: I think he murdered someone and he's getting rid of the body parts.

Hans gazing into space with that 'I have an idea look': I wonder if we could use the dinghy to tow the boat to that dock.

The next morning I caught Hans with the binoculars.

Hans: Take a look.

I almost choke. The man with the body parts bag has just brought a woman on board his boat and he's hauling up his anchor.

I spend the rest of the day preparing my speech for the local news stations (maybe I'll even get on The Today Show and meet Meredith) detailing my suspicions about the man who becomes known as the Back Creek Killer after he's discovered disposing of yet another body. I also hope we get to shore so I can wash my hair first.

Imagine my disappointment when I wake up the next morning to see the killer's boat reanchored and his date very much alive and sporting a perky little straw hat.

Hans: See? I told you he wasn't a killer.

Me, with the binoculars trained on another boat: Did you notice that monohull over there? I'm positive there's someone on board because I've seen lights down below every evening, but no one ever comes above! I wonder what's going on?

This morning I couldn't find the binoculars, and my Rear Window DVD is missing.

Wilbur says, "Gives me those binzocularsies!! I see a pretty furry friend over there on that floaty thing!!"

Sunday, June 13, 2010

When dog poop makes you happy you know your life sucks!

Today Wilbur did a big number two on his potty patch!!He's been a very good boy about peeing on it but still needed to be taken ashore for the important stuff. Believe me this is an event worth celebrating, and I did a little happy dance!

This might not seem like a big deal to you but considering the fact that since Friday (it's now Sunday) we've been stranded at anchor and haven't been able to start our engines (which provide us with power for little things like running our fans, water, and lights etc...!), this is pretty good news.

It makes up for the fact that my hair hasn't been washed for four days and if I'd been meant to be a pioneer woman I would have been born two hundred years ago!!!


What's happened so far?

Our sun pad (huge and expensive) abandoned ship in the middle of our very rough passage across the bay last week. We watched in horror as it was lifted by 40 knot gusts and gracefully sailed over the rail!

The water pump broke.

The water pump was temporarily fixed but someone had to stand at the switch in order to turn it on and off during showers.

Our engines wouldn't start because the batteries were over taxed. This happened while we were at anchor at the start of the weekend and that meant the end of showers, lights, fans etc...

We finally resorted to being towed to the marina where our repairs were to take place and I don't think I've ever been so thankful to get hooked up to shore power in my life. I used their facilities and took one very long shower!

Our electrician spent the entire day on the boat yesterday and replaced our spreader lights, took all 3 batteries out and rewired them correctly, fixed the radar, picked me up from the grocery store that I'd walked to so I could load up on water and club soda, and then he was gone!

We finally sat back opened a can of beer and said "Thank God now we can relax, let's turn on our new radio!"

Complete silence. It doesn't work!

I would post pictures but I'm currently using my computer battery and one hour of free Annapolis internet (and anyway, I look like hell!)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

We're on our way

First of all, I had to mess around with my comments setting. I've been getting a lot of spam, so for now I won't post comments until I've been able to view them first. I think it's a pain in the butt and I'm not sure if anonymous readers can leave a comment or not.

I'll see how it goes.

It's been a hellish week. Getting ready to leave took a lot more time than we had anticipated.

Here's Hans in front of our boat before she was put into the water.

A cat (in the box) and a dog waiting to get on board.

This is what the cockpit looked like after around 10 trips from the car to the boat with our supplies.

And this was before going to the grocery store, liquor store, and West Marine. I believe we made about three trips to each within 24 hours.

Hans reading the directions to the dinghy and motor.


BTW, the motor is an 8 HP 4 stroke, and is way too big.

Wilbur's crate is in the guest cabin on top of the bunk.

That's the only place it will fit and we'd like him to get used to in there because he has to go somewhere safe when we leave the boat.

This is only one of Chlorox's hiding places. It's behind our pillows at the foot of our bunk.

At one point I was positive she'd escaped and gone overboard but after about an hour I found her in the bottom of a locker!!

Captain Wilbur.

Hans is responsible for the vest.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Treading Water

Hans and I have been on pins and needles just waiting for word that our boat is ready to go. And when we got the phone call that said, "C'mon down!!" we were like Yeeeee Haaaww!!! and ran around like chickens with our heads cut off (including Wilbur who loves an excuse to turn inside out) trying to get everything together.

And then I got a bug up my butt and suggested we go to an outside (read doggy friendly) eatery for a celebratory farewell lunch.

Hans and Wilbur enjoying a laugh.

The waiter even brought out a water bowl (although I came prepared.)

But we received another call this afternoon, and it said, "Oops, false alarm!" And we weren't so happy.

So, what's holding things up?

A simple little $3 part! That's what!

In order for our propellers to survive salt water, they need these adorable little donut shaped things called zincs! Zincs are sacrificial and they give up their life by attracting the corrosive salt water to them, therefor saving the steel props.

Isn't that heroic?

Anyway our boat has been on the hard for months now and this should have been taken care of a long time ago. But now it appears that our props are different, they are special, and while in some cases that might be an attractive trait, we're not finding it especially endearing at this time.
There was talk of having them overnighted (if they can even find them!) and guess who will be footing the cost of that? Certainly not the boat yard!
So after this initial false labor we're a little less inclined to get worked up when the next "C'mon down" phone call arrives!

So for your sewing enjoyment here is the apron I made to take along with us.
It was one of those 'cut out the panel', one size fits all, kits.

See what it says?

Those people at the marina better just keep this in mind!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Dress, A Bag, and a Trip

On Friday I found a cut out and ready to sew dress amongst my disaster of a sewing area.

On Saturday I managed to get it put together, and on Sunday I wore it.

Excuse the blurry picture (I'm also trying to hang onto Wilbur's leash) as it's the only one I have at this time, and since this was a picnic I didn't wear my cork sandals.

Next time.

I added an exposed zipper to the front which I thought was kind of cute.

I also made a cork zipper pull out of a sliced cork and a key chain thingy.

I'm still having issues with the back. It just seems to balloon out but at this point I don't care.

It's comfortable.

Then I decided I'd better get to work on the one yard piece of Sunbrella fabric that I bought on sale for $15.00 a yard (normally $30.00).

I used Nicole's Beach Bag pattern. I've used it in the past here , here, and here.

This time however, I chose to make it unstructured. The Sunbrella fabric felt similar to canvas so I didn't interface it at all. I used duck cloth (from my stash) for the lining so once again, no interfacing.
One magnetic snap is used for the closure.

This is the back view.

I used big grommets in the bag and home dec braid for the handles.

I knotted them on the inside because I thought the knots would look too busy on the outside.

And the only reason I used red was because JoAnn's was out of blue.

The inside pockets are lined with rip-stop nylon from my stash ($1/yd from WalMart).

I wanted this bag to be light weight and breathable for our summer sailing trip.

A matching zippered wallet.

Can you see the slider I added to the cord? I cut out the Ralph Lauren label from the selvage and used it. I doubt if it will fool anyone but I like it.

And the back of the little wallet.

And folks!!! This is it!!

Tomorrow we will spend the day packing.

Thursday morning, bright and early, we will load our vehicle to the gills with a dog, a drugged cat, and tons of supplies.

Friday we should be setting sail for the summer.

And I hope it's not an omen that I'm possibly experiencing the worst PMS episode on record!